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January 13, 2014

Rumor Roundup

AL Rotation Rumblings

by Daniel Rathman


Indians expect to discuss long-term pact with Justin Masterson
With more than five years of service time under his belt, Justin Masterson has one more year of arbitration eligibility left before his first chance to hit the open market. The 28-year-old right-hander took home about $5.7 million in 2013, when he forwent his hearing by agreeing to that salary on January 18, and the Tribe is once again hoping to come to terms with his agent, Randy Rowley.

Masterson has gone year to year to this point in his big-league career, which began when the Red Sox promoted him on April 28, 2008, though he has never actually gone to arbitration. Cleveland Plain-Dealer beat writer Paul Hoynes reported on Friday that the Indians would like to give Masterson his first multi-year guarantee, one that would buy out multiple free-agent seasons.

A solid mid-rotation starter, Masterson is somewhat miscast in the ace role he has been asked to play in Cleveland. He has been worth at least 1.6 wins in three of the past four seasons, but his FIP has fluctuated—from 3.90 in 2010, to 3.32 in 2011, to 4.11 in 2012, to 3.38 in 2013—due to inconsistent walk and home-run rates. Masterson’s strikeout clip was remarkably steady between 2010-2012, coming in between 17.4-17.6 percent each year.

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<< Previous Article
Premium Article Minor League Update: I... (01/13)
<< Previous Column
Premium Article Rumor Roundup: Abreu, ... (01/09)
Next Column >>
Premium Article Rumor Roundup: Third B... (01/14)
Next Article >>
Premium Article Baseball Therapy: Buil... (01/13)

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